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Wednesday 22nd May
Suriname Information - Page 2
British colonists settled in Suriname in the first half of the seventeenth century.

In 1667 the English exchanged their colony in Suriname for the Dutch possession of New Amsterdam (later called New York).

Apart from two brief periods of British rule, the Netherlands retained control over Suriname. In 1954 Surinamers gained internal government. Full independence from the Netherlands was achieved in 1975.

The 1980s saw coups and civil war. Following a military coup in 1990, the country returned to civilian government.

The services sector accounts for the greatest percentage of Suriname's Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Bauxite, discovered in the early twentieth century, has been an important contributor to Suriname's economy.

Other industries are gold mining, oil, timber, fishing and food processing.

Agricultural products include bananas, coconuts, palm kernels, plantains, peanuts and rice. However, the state-owned banana company closed in 2002.

Eco-tourism is an expanding industry. Livestock is reared.(2012)

The arts in Suriname represent the diversity of ethnic groups in the country.

Arts centres, such as the Indonesian Cultural Center and the Indian Cultural Center, promote traditional music and dance.

The open air museum in New Amsterdam exhibits reminders of Suriname's colonial past.

Football is the country's national sport. Volleyball and cricket are also played.

Fishing is a popular activity in Suriname.

All religious holidays are celebrated. Other holidays include New Years Day - 1 January, Labour Day - May 1, Freedom Day - 1 July, and Independence Day - 25 November (1975).

News from Suriname is available from Newslink.

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